Legend of Rip Van Winkle

9781482427462. ea vol: 32p. (Famous Legends). further reading. glossary. index. photos. Gareth Stevens. 2015. lib. ed. $25.25.
Gr 2–4—Simple retellings threaded with explanation present the folklore roots of these assorted literary works. The examinations vary somewhat in approach, but all offer material for book reports or class discussion. King Arthur's entire life story, told in short sentences, introduces Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, Galahad, and others, with text boxes providing additional information. These boxes appear in all of the books in this set, but most of the others blend history and background material. Washington Irving's two short stories are presented differently. Sleepy Hollow focuses on the story in question, while Rip Van Winkle sums up the tale and then compares it to an earlier German account that also includes a biography of Irving. An introduction to the Brothers Grimm, life in the Middle Ages, and modern tourist attractions in Hamelin, Germany, accompany the Pied Piper's tale. Dracula is the star here: the book clearly explains the character's place among other vampires, the content of Bram Stoker's novel, the possible parallel with Vlad Dracula of Wallachia, and his continuing popular appeal.
VERDICT Good material for literature lessons.

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